At least five cars were damaged by airbag thieves in a pair of North Arlington neighborhoods yesterday.
The thieves made off with airbags from three of the vehicles, all of which were Hondas, according to Arlington County police. The thefts were reported Thursday morning along N. Glebe Road, just north of Langston Blvd, and in the nearby Waverly Hills neighborhood.
More from today’s ACPD crime report, below.
LARCENY FROM AUTO/VEHICLE TAMPERING (Series) (Late), 2023-03160084/03160162/03160165/03160186, 2000 block of N. Woodstock Street/4400 block of Cherry Hill Road/26th Street N. at N. Glebe Road/N. Utah Street at Cherry Hill Road/2500 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 10:32 a.m. on March 16, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. During the course of the investigation, it was determined five vehicles had their driver’s side windows shattered and airbags were stolen from three of the vehicles. All involved vehicles are Honda models. No other items were reported stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
(Updated at 4 p.m.) There seems to be bipartisan agreement among state lawmakers about at least one issue: something must be done about the popping and roaring of noisy mufflers.
On Saturday (Feb. 25), the Virginia General Assembly adjourned its 2023 winter legislative session, which some say has been too short to get vital work done. These bills will now head to Gov. Glenn Youngkin to review before March 27.
With Republicans controlling the House of Delegates and Democrats the Senate, Arlington’s all-Democratic representation introduced a laundry list of bills that failed. These ranged from one permitting same-sex marriage to increasing gun control and leveling the playing field for online news outlets like ARLnow.
Those seeking relief from cars with loud exhausts fell short of a total victory, but both the Virginia House of Delegates and the State Senate passed a version of Sen. Adam Ebbin’s bill, SB 1085, that would study the issue.
His original bill would have prohibited the sale and use of aftermarket mufflers. Now, the legislature is directing the Department of Transportation to “convene a workgroup of specified stakeholders to examine the issue of vehicle noise in the Commonwealth and to report its findings and recommendations” to the chairs of each chamber’s transportation committee by Nov. 1.
His bill follows up on last year’s reversal of a 2021 law that prevented police from pulling over drivers just for having an excessively loud exhaust system. The original law was intended to reduce pretextual traffic stops and racial disparities but might have contributed to an uptick in noise complaints.
Of all the bills filed by local legislators that ARLnow highlighted at the start of the 2023 legislative session, this was the only one to pass.
However, a slew of bills from other lawmakers did make it through, including a few notable ones listed below.
- HB 1583 (Del. “Rip” Sullivan) makes it illegal to use drones to spy on someone, regardless of where that device is located.
- HB 1590 (Sullivan) modernizes a harassing phone call statute that used to apply only to telephones and pagers. Now, it would be a misdemeanor to annoy or delay emergency personnel trying to do their job by causing any device to ring or signal an alert repeatedly.
- SB 887 (Sen. Barbara Favola) requires out-of-cell programs and congregant activities for four hours a day for people in solitary confinement at the state prison, unless there is a lockdown. People in solitary confinement must receive physical and mental health evaluations and there has to be a publicly available process for restoring people to the general prison population.
- HB 1857 (Del. Elizabeth Bennett-Parker) is intended to prevent resellers from misleading ticket buyers by prohibiting them from making their website look similar to a ticket operator’s website. It also prohibits the display of trademarked or copyrighted information from an operator or a primary ticket provider without their consent.
- SB 871 (Favola) would make it illegal for car manufacturers, factories and distributors to threaten to take away incentives from buyers or the right to participate in incentive programs.
Arlington County police responded to a number of notable incidents over the past few days, including a serious stabbing in Rosslyn.
The alleged stabbing took place in the River Place complex around 1 a.m. Friday.
From yesterday’s ACPD crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-12020042, 1100 block of Arlington Boulevard. At approximately 1:10 a.m. on December 2, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with a weapon. Upon arrival, officers located the male suspect in his apartment and detained him. The male victim was subsequently located in a separate apartment suffering serious, non-life threatening injuries. He was transported to an area hospital for medical treatment. The investigation revealed the known suspect came to the victim’s apartment and a verbal dispute ensued over a missing cell phone. The suspect then entered the victim’s residence and allegedly stole the victim’s electronics. The victim then went to the suspect’s apartment to help locate the missing cell phone. While inside the apartment, the suspect allegedly assaulted the victim with a knife, causing lacerations. The victim was subsequently able to exit the apartment and yell for help. [The suspect], 48, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding, Abduction and Grand Larceny.
Over the weekend, a group of 3-4 suspects rummaged through cars in several locations in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood, near Pentagon City.
They ended up successfully fleeing from arriving officers in cars stolen from Fairfax County and from Arlington’s Lyon Park neighborhood, according to the crime report.
“The investigation is ongoing,” said ACPD.
VEHICLE TAMPERING (Series), 2022-12040058/12040064/12040068/12040078, 2600 block of S. Lynn Street, 1000 block of 21st Street S., 1000 block of 16th Street, 900 block of N. Cleveland Street. At approximately 6:41 a.m. on December 4, police were dispatched to the report of a vehicle tampering in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined the witness allegedly observed three unknown male suspects attempting to open the doors of parked, unoccupied vehicles. The witness yelled at the suspects and they fled the scene in a dark colored sedan. In total, approximately seven vehicles were determined to have been entered and nothing of value was reported stolen at the time of the report. At approximately 7:10 a.m., police were dispatched to the report of a vehicle tampering in the 1000 block of 16th Street S. While enroute, responding officers observed two vehicles flee the scene at a high rate of speed. The vehicles were later determined to have been stolen out of Fairfax County and one stolen out of the 900 block of N. Cleveland Street described as a black Honda Civic with Virginia License Plate: UBV8712. Five additional vehicles were determined to have been entered and rummaged through.
In today’s crime report, five teens — one adult and four juveniles — are expected to face charges after allegedly breaking into a home in Lyon Park, just south of Clarendon.
The incident happened late Monday morning. Residents of the home were away at the time but saw the break-in happening on a video surveillance system, according to scanner traffic.
More from ACPD:
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2022-12050077, 700 block of N. Edgewood Street. At approximately 11:37 a.m. on December 5, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, officers established a perimeter and took an adult male suspect into custody as he exited the home. Officers then observed additional suspects inside the home, gave them commands to exit and took four juveniles into custody. [A suspect], 18, of Alexandria, Va. was arrested and charged with Unlawful Entry and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. He was held on a $1,000 bond. Petitions were sought for the four juvenile suspects for Unlawful Entry.
Another airbag theft spree has happened in Arlington.
The spree was reported to police Thursday morning in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood. Airbags were stolen from nine Honda vehicles, according to Arlington County police.
Dozens and dozens of such thefts have been reported so far this year. The latest thefts happened on the same week that ACPD announced the arrests of two airbag theft suspects.
More from an ACPD crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series) (Late), 2022-11170051, 2600 block of S. Vance Court. At approximately 7:24 a.m. on November 17, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. The investigation determined between approximately 4:00 p.m. on November 16 and 7:24 a.m. on November 17, the unknown suspect(s) forced entry into approximately nine vehicles and stole the airbags. The vehicles are all described as Honda models. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
Someone shot out or smashed the windows on two dozen vehicles parked in Arlington during one night last week.
The vandalism spree happened overnight between the evening of Thursday, Oct. 20 and the morning of Friday, Oct. 21.
“An unknown suspect(s) smashed the windows of approximately 24 victim vehicles with an unknown object,” ACPD spokesperson Alli Shorb told ARLnow. “The victim vehicles varied in make and model. There is no suspect description(s) at this time. The investigation is ongoing.”
The locations of damaged vehicles included neighborhoods in and around Crystal City, Rosslyn, Courthouse, Ballston, Waverly Hills and Dominion Hills.
One of the victims, whose vehicle was parked in the North Highland neighborhood near Rosslyn when it was damaged, believes that the vandal or vandals were using BB guns or something similar.
“I believe it was a BB gun or air rifle. I can’t find a round or BB in my car to be sure, however,” he told ARLnow. “My car and another from my block in North Highland are pictured.”
Update on 10/26/22 — Another vehicle vandalism spree has been reported, potentially involving the same suspect or suspects.
Update on 10/27/22 — Yet another vehicle vandalism spree by a BB gun-armed suspect (or suspects) has been reported.
Update on 10/28/22 — A suspect has been arrested, Arlington County police announced.
Arlington has seen an explosion in catalytic converter thefts over the past two years, according to updated stats from county police.
Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 3 of this year, 172 such thefts were reported to the Arlington County Police Department, according to a department spokesperson. That’s up more than 2,350% compared to the 7 catalytic converter thefts reported during the same time period in 2020.
ACPD says it investigated 43 converter thefts during that period in 2021.
At least five additional catalytic converters were stolen over the past few days, all from Toyota vehicles.
The thefts took place in the Aurora Highlands, Crystal City, Fairlington and Long Branch Creek neighborhoods, according to a crime report published by the police department and two additional reports obtained after inquiries from ARLnow.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2022-10030077/10030095/10030126, 1900 block of S. Eads Street/4600 block of 36th Street S./2700 block of S. Uhle Street. At approximately 8:58 a.m. on October 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. During the course of the investigation, it was determined three Toyota vehicles had their catalytic converters stolen during overnight hours. Additionally, an airbag was stolen from a Honda vehicle in the 4600 block of 36th Street S. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
LARCENY FROM AUTO, 2022-10034003, 700 block of 19th Street S. Between approximately 5:55 p.m. on September 30 and 9:55 a.m. on October 3, a catalytic converter was stolen from a Toyota model vehicle.
LARCENY FROM AUTO, 2022-10034004, 1800 block of S. Grant Street. Between the evening of September 30 and 10:25 a.m. on October 3, a catalytic converter was stolen from a Toyota model vehicle.
The Toyota Prius is a particularly popular model for thieves to target.
“Priuses with model years 2004-2009 are top targets,” NBC 4 reported earlier this year. “Their catalytic converters contain precious metals that can bring up to $1,000 when resold. Repairing and replacing the catalytic converter runs more than $2,000.”
The thefts have continued throughout the year despite state legislation to toughen penalties and some recent arrests. Last month ARLnow reported on nearly a dozen catalytic converter thefts in various Arlington neighborhoods.
Just days after the last reported series of airbag thefts in Arlington, police are investigating another.
Arlington County police say a thief or thieves smashed windows on and stole airbags from three Honda vehicles on the 900 block of S. Rolfe Street, near Towers Park.
Dozens of similar thefts — mostly involving Hondas and Acuras — have been reported so far this year, including a series of four less than a week ago.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Late, Series), 2022-09050059, 900 block of S. Rolfe Street. At approximately 6:41 a.m. on September 5, police were dispatched to the report of a late larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined between approximately 11:30 p.m. on September 4 and 6:41 a.m. on September 5 the unknown suspect(s) smashed the driver’s side windows of three vehicles and stole the airbags. All vehicles involved are Honda models. There is no suspect description at this time. The investigation is ongoing.
Also in the latest ACPD crime report, police say a man pulled out and loaded a gun inside a business along Columbia Pike — and then walked away without making any threats or demands.
The odd situation played out Friday night on the 2900 block of the Pike, which is home to a Domino’s Pizza and a CVS, among other businesses. Arlington police typically do not reveal the identities of people or entities that have been the victims of crimes.
More via ACPD:
BRANDISHING, 2022-09020220, 2600 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 8:49 p.m. on September 2, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 8:43 p.m., the unknown male suspect entered into the business, approached the counter, removed a firearm and magazine from his waistband and loaded it before fleeing the scene on foot. The suspect did not make any demands or threats. No injuries were reported and no items were reported stolen or damaged. Responding officers canvassed the area yielding negative results.
Thieves recently stole nearly a dozen catalytic converters early Wednesday in a crime spree that spanned numerous North Arlington neighborhoods, police say.
Word of the thefts follows Wednesday’s arrest of three people from Chicago who were allegedly seen tampering with cars near Columbia Pike and found with catalytic converters and power tools.
It’s unclear whether that crew may be linked to any of these newly-reported thefts of the valuable car component.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2022-08310031, 2100 block of 18th Street N. Between 12:01 a.m. on August 31 and 7:05 a.m. on August 31, unknown suspects stole approximately 11 catalytic converters from 9 victim vehicles. Witnesses reported observing 3 – 4 Black males wearing bandanas near some of the incident locations. Reported incidents occurred in the Colonial Village, East Falls Church, Highland Park-Overlee Knolls, Lyon Village, Rock Spring, Westover Village neighborhoods. The investigation is ongoing.
On Thursday, meanwhile, four cars — all Hondas or Acuras — had airbags stolen in the Shirlington area. Arlington has seen dozens of airbags stolen from cars this year, as thieves target another car part that’s valuable on the resell market.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series, Late), 2022-09010077, 4200 block of 31st Street S. At approximately 8:03 a.m. on September 1, police were dispatched to the report of a late series of larceny from autos. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 9:40 p.m. on August 31 and 8:03 on September 1, the unknown suspect(s) smashed the driver’s side windows of four vehicles and stole the airbags. The victim vehicles were Honda and Acura models. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
A trio of catalytic converter theft suspects, all from Chicago, were arrested early this morning.
Arlington police say they were able to track down all three suspects after they tried to speed off in a car, which they then crashed in the Penrose neighborhood. They were later arrested in the northern portion of the neighborhood, near Sequoia Plaza and Butler Holmes Park.
The arrests, which come amid a rash of thefts of the valuable car part across Arlington, ultimately happened thanks to an alert resident who reported a vehicle break-in along 13th Road S., near the Arlington Village condos, around 2 a.m.
More from an Arlington County police crime report:
VEHICLE TAMPERING, 2022-08310022, 2700 block of 13th Road S. At approximately 1:55 a.m. on August 31, police were dispatched to the report of a vehicle tapering in progress. Responding officers located a parked vehicle on Walter Reed Drive at S. Randolph Street matching the description provided by the reporting party and observed three male suspects enter the vehicle. Officers activated their emergency equipment and attempted a traffic stop but the driver fled from the scene at a high rate of speed. Additional officers responded to the scene and located the unoccupied suspect vehicle crashed in the 2600 block of 2nd Street S. Officers established a perimeter and located one suspect at 1st Place S. and S. Barton and the other two suspects were located in the 100 block of S. Wise Street and taken into custody. A search of the suspect vehicle resulted in the recovery of two catalytic converters and power tools.
The three suspects, who range in age from 29 to 34, are facing a number of charges, including Eluding, Tampering with Auto, Larceny with Intent to Sell, Possession of Burglarious Tools and, in the case of one suspect, Hit and Run.
Asked by ARLnow about whether the suspects were previously known to ACPD or suspected in other catalytic converter thefts, police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the investigation is still underway.
“Detectives will continue to investigate to determine if the suspects are linked to any other reported thefts,” she said, adding that “Virginia law prohibits the disclosure of someone’s prior criminal history.”
A 54-year-old Alexandria man is in jail after police say he broke into and stole items from two cars and tampered with five others.
The arrest happened last night around midnight, in a pair of neighborhoods along Columbia Pike.
The man was caught, police say, after an alert off-duty officer spotted him trying to break in to several parked cars, then detained him until on-duty units arrived.
From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
VEHICLE TAMPERING (Series), 2022-08250293/08260015, 2500 block of 9th Road S./1100 block of S. Walter Reed Drive. At approximately 11:56 p.m. on August 25, police were dispatched to the report of a vehicle tampering. The investigation determined that an off-duty police officer observed the suspect attempting to enter into parked vehicles in the area before making contact with him and detaining him until the arrival of additional units. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect allegedly entered into and tampered with seven victim vehicles and stole personal items from two of the vehicles. During a search of his person incident to arrest, drug paraphernalia was recovered. [The suspect], 54, of Alexandria, Va., was arrested and charged with Vehicle Tampering (x4), Petit Larceny from a Vehicle (x2), Grand Larceny from a Vehicle, Credit Card Theft, and Possession of Controlled Paraphernalia. He was held without bail.
County Fair Starts Today — “The Arlington County Fair will take place from August 17 – 21 at Thomas Jefferson Community Center located at 3501 2nd Street S. The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closure to accommodate the event: From approximately 8:00 a.m. on August 17 to 11:00 p.m. on August 21… 2nd Street S. closed between S. Jackson Street and S. Irving Street.” [ACPD]
Fewer Car Tax Notices — “Arlington County Board members as part of their annual budget process eliminated the $33-per-vehicle decal fee… About 20,000 vehicles will thus have nothing owed on them, and the treasurer’s office has decided not to send notices to them. An additional 30,000 county residents who own two or more vehicles under the same name will see their billing information consolidated into a single mailing in order to achieve ‘significant savings on paper and postage,’ Treasurer Carla de la Pava said in an Aug. 15 letter.” [Sun Gazette]
Senators Hail New Law — “U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the following statement after President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law: ‘We’re proud that this law will lower the price of prescription drugs, reduce the deficit, bring down energy bills and fight climate change… We will continue to look for ways to support the health and well-being of our communities, decrease inflation, and lower costs for Virginians.'” [Sen. Mark Warner]
Opera Making a Comeback? — “Supporters of Northern Virginia’s opera scene are hoping to reanimate the dormant Opera Guild of Northern Virginia, which through the years has raised funds and provided other support to opera organizations as well as promoting fellowships among those who appreciate the art form and introducing children to the unique and inclusive nature of opera.” [Sun Gazette]
It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 81 and low of 65. Sunrise at 6:26 am and sunset at 8:02 pm. [Weather.gov]